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Punjab polls 2022: Sanyukt Samaj Morcha in soup, EC raises objections

Vishav Bharti

Chandigarh, January 22

In a setback for the Sanyukt Samaj Morcha (SSM), the Election Commission has raised a red flag over its registration as a political party.

Registration blues

EC objects to submission of I-T returns for 1 year instead of 3
Address proof of registered office not as per norms
Several columns of registration form left blank

With the filing of nomination papers of candidates slated to end on February 1, the issues raised by the EC are unlikely to be resolved by then.

If no breakthrough is achieved, the SSM may not participate in the Assembly elections as a registered political party, raising a question mark on candidates contesting on a common symbol and party name. According to sources, the SSM had moved an application for registration as a political party on January 8. In response, the EC had sent a letter to the SSM on January 18 with various objections, including submitting income tax returns for just one year, instead of three. Besides the address proof of the party’s registered office submitted by the SSM was not found as per the norms. The EC also objected to several columns being left blank in the registration form.

Sources said the development had left the SSM leadership confused. One of the options being considered now is to contest the elections on the symbol of another political party, possibly a dormant political outfit, already registered with the EC.

Prem Singh Bhangu, a member of SSM’s parliamentary board, said: “We are trying to resolve the registration issue before the deadline for the filing of nomination papers. If it is not resolved by then, we will explore the possibility of getting a common symbol.” After the success of the farmers’ agitation, a large section of the SKM had formed the political outfit to contest the elections.

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